Kagame, Obasanjo meet over DR Congo conflict

VILLAGE URUGWIRO - Following his recent appointment as UN Special Envoy for the crisis in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday evening held talks with President Paul Kagame on the conflict and possible solutions.  “As special envoy of the UN Secretary General on the Congolese crisis, I want to ensure that all the previously made agreements are respected in order to get a solution for the conflict,” Obasanjo said after the meeting that took place at Urugwiro Village. His meeting with the president was preceded by similar separate meetings with DR Congo’s Joseph Kabila and Nkunda. Crisis in the vast Central African country erupted afresh in September and since then, hundreds of thousands have fled their homes.
Olusegun Obasanjo (L) with President Kagame after discussions at Urugwiro Village (PPU Photo)
Olusegun Obasanjo (L) with President Kagame after discussions at Urugwiro Village (PPU Photo)

VILLAGE URUGWIRO - Following his recent appointment as UN Special Envoy for the crisis in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday evening held talks with President Paul Kagame on the conflict and possible solutions.

Obasanjo, who is also the former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, said that efforts are being made to ensure that the previous agreements between the DR Congo and Gen. Laurent Nkunda’s National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) are enforced.

“As special envoy of the UN Secretary General on the Congolese crisis, I want to ensure that all the previously made agreements are respected in order to get a solution for the conflict,” Obasanjo said after the meeting that took place at Urugwiro Village.

His meeting with the president was preceded by similar separate meetings with DR Congo’s Joseph Kabila and Nkunda.

Crisis in the vast Central African country erupted afresh in September and since then, hundreds of thousands have fled their homes.

“I was tasked to follow up the implementation of these agreements and I, as the facilitator, will do my best to ensure that the crisis is resolved,” said Obasanjo, who was appointed as envoy to UN chief Ban Ki Moon during the just-concluded summit that brought together Great Lakes’ leaders in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

Rwanda has raised concerns about the conflict into which the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) are heavily involved, fighting alongside the Congolese government forces.

FDLR is a group largely composed of elements responsible for the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis, a killing frenzy that left over a million people dead.

The outfit has been based in the country for over the past decade. “President Kagame expressed appreciation for the Special Envoy’s efforts to gain a clear understanding of the situation in the DRC and the root causes of the conflict in the region, in particular the continued presence of the ExFAR/Interahamwe/FDLR in the DRC,” reads a release from the Office of the President.

The President has previously emphasised that the solution to the Congolese problem lies first in understanding the root cause of the conflict.

According to the release, during the meeting, the President said that a step has been taken in the right direction towards implementing lasting solutions to the conflict.

“He pointed out that the problems in the DRC are not insurmountable and added that Rwanda was prepared to contribute in any useful way to the process of finding peace and stability in the region,” the release further read.

It has been said at different forums that the conflict in the DR Congo has for almost a decade been a major stumbling bloc to regional security.

More to that, the existence there of the FDLR, which has been branded a terrorist group by the United States, and a negative force by the Tripartite Plus Joint Commission (TPJC), a regional security platform bringing together Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo and Uganda, is another destabilising factor.

Also present at Obasanjo’s meeting Kagame was the Executive Secretary of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Liberata Mulamula and UN officials.

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